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Extreme Speech and Democracy$
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Ivan Hare and James Weinstein

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199548781

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548781.001.0001

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Blasphemy and Incitement to Religious Hatred: Free Speech Dogma and Doctrine

Blasphemy and Incitement to Religious Hatred: Free Speech Dogma and Doctrine

Chapter:
(p.289) 15 Blasphemy and Incitement to Religious Hatred: Free Speech Dogma and Doctrine
Source:
Extreme Speech and Democracy
Author(s):

Ivan Hare

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548781.003.0016

This chapter begins by setting out the historical justifications for laws of blasphemy. It explains how increasing secularization and diversity of religious belief have progressively undermined the justification for protecting religion at all or only the established church from attack. It then analyses how blasphemy came to be abolished in a number of jurisdictions, most recently in England, and how laws on incitement to religious hatred have been introduced in parallel. The chapter concludes that there is no justification for either laws on blasphemy or incitement to religious hatred in a state which is committed to freedom of political expression.

Keywords:   blasphemy, laws of blasphemy, incitement to religious hatred, free speech, secularization

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